To Coach Others, We Must First Coach Ourselves

Picture of Garrett Sheets

By Garrett Sheets

Picture of Garrett Sheets
Garrett Sheets

With summer winding down, I am grateful for mindful mornings, cooler temperatures, jewel-tone sunsets, and the opportunity to embrace new learning opportunities. Although these efforts tend to focus on becoming a more effective strategic marketer, writer, and editor, my heart is closely tied to another pursuit: coaching.

While logging continuing education hours to maintain my Certified Master Coach (CMC) credential through The Center for Coaching Certification, I have had a chance to pore over many essential concepts and principles: understanding VAK styles, active listening, the importance of word choice and intention, and the power of affirmation. Some of these I remember well and do my best to implement each day—others I have been enthusiastically reintroduced to.

In either case, these insights awaken the same desire I had when I first expressed interest in coach training: to help others help themselves.

With this perspective in mind, I often revisit Simon Sinek’s 2009 TED Talk on finding our “why.” That is, being able to realize, connect with, and act on what moves us. When I reflect on my personal and professional journey, a substantial part of my “why” has been centered around creating environments and relationships that encourage authentic storytelling. Whether I’m highlighting the perspective of a thought leader for a blog post, or a friend in everyday conversation, the intention is always the same: to cultivate a space where “whys” can thrive.

Empowering these insights in others is immensely rewarding—and what about for ourselves? As a marketing professional with a deadline-driven role, I tend to practice self-coaching around prioritization and time management. In fact, I have found that my most productive days are those where I have paused to re-assess, re-center, and re-charge with intentional questioning: What does “complete” mean to me? What else do I want to accomplish? How will I do that? What do I need from others? What do I need from myself?

When we take the time to turn powerful questioning inward, we find that it makes us better communicators, mediators, and realistic goal setters.

In this context, coach training is a widely applicable instrument for precipitating transformational insights, both in others and in ourselves. As I continue my learning, I cannot wait to see what I discover next. How do you best coach yourself?

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